Editorial by Coyote
There is very little in this world more heartbreaking then a game not
being ready on its launch date.
Now, you might be thinking:
are a TON of things more heartbreaking than a
game not making its predicted launch date. Things like spontaneously
combusting toddlers or like puppies latching onto the faces of the
elderly and exploding like little schnauzer bombs. Flaming babies are
WAY more heartbreaking than a stupid game not being released.”
Waiting for the
release of an upcoming title is like waiting for Christmas to get your Murloc suit.
But you’d be wrong.
To the true gamer among us, waiting for a title to release is like
counting down the days until Christmas. With each passing week you tick
off a little reminder on a calendar and your heart races a little more.
You might plan time off of work, or stock up on your favorite snacks,
or just like at Christmas – hide in your closet until that
one weird Uncle who smells like hemp and always wants to bounce you on
his knee even though your 34 finally gives up his search and goes home.
We love our games, we obsess over them, and when a large title from
outside of our video game world promises to make a digital appearance,
we go abso-fricking-lutely NUTS. Lord
of the Rings Online, Dungeons
Dragons Online and their ilk bridge a gap between our
bring out the beasts the dwell deep within our pale white exteriors.
Which brings me to the focus of this impromptu rant and possible first
time ever usage of the phrase “schnauzer
Most of us are familiar with the game. A small scale battle system
using terrain and hand painted figures usually jealously guarded by
Ubergeeks as they huddle around the gaming store in the mall next to
the Cinnabon. If you’re not familiar, you may have seen the
figures, or heard in passing of it’s online approach. If you
ARE familiar with it, chances are that you’ve taken offense
at my description above and probably have really dorky
“correct” terminology that you will indignantly
explain to me in a tone of voice that suggests that I may be mildly
Which is kind of my point.
Warhammer players are getting a Warhammer MMO, and as the date
approaches and leaks about content cuts and character removal get
slowly whispered through the community, tempers start to flair. Reason
and logic are quickly replaced by anger and want and even before launch
gamers start growling and snapping and asking WHY things are being cut.
The answer to me, is simple. As I see it, with the deadline for the
game’s release running towards them like a pit-bull chasing
down a Girl Scout they had the following three choices:
Release a game too early, and you'll end up looking like this guy.
1) Push Back The Launch
would give developers more time to spit and polish their
product and allow for more testing to cut down on post-install bug
glitches that gnaw away at even the cleanest launch. Moving the launch
date would allow more breathing room and ensure that content is fixed,
will never find your body.
Gamers are like a huge bag of hungry, angry bees. They want their
content, they want it now, and if you don’t give it to them
by the promised date you can bet your last 1up that they’re
going to burst from their pain sack and latch onto your face. And trust
me when I say that there are few things scarier in this world then a
face full of bees.
So you treat them like you would any other hungry, angry, and possibly
foaming creature that wants something you have: You GIVE it to them,
and ignore the first choice completely.
2) Release the unfinished
game and patch the snot out of it
keep your word, you make your deadline and the initial wave
of buyers get what they want and buy your product. Geeks everywhere
rejoice as they buy their game and run home to install it, the smiles
never leaving their face.
get home and install it.
A while back an MMO that went this route was launched. They were
obviously not ready for the launch, the game was buggier than a
hobo’s beard, and many MANY gamers felt ripped off, lied to,
and were greatly disappointed with the game. For sake of protecting
identities, we’ll call it “Wanguard”.
People were PISSED. The game looked promising, and quite honestly it
was. It was well thought out, crafted, and could have been
“The One”. The problem is, it was not finished and
should have never been released. They should have gone with Option 1
and pushed back the game date, or went with what is behind door number
three, as WAR has done. Which brings us to…
3) Cutting Content
content equals less things that could possibly go wrong.
Small choices, smaller bugs and fewer things to deal with on launch
day. The missing content can then be fixed, upgraded, and added in
patches to give back to the player. And while it does anger or upset
the fan base, the content that they do get will have less issues and
bring more enjoyment to the game.
risk angering the very people that you had hoped to hook with
your particular brand of online crack - The hardcore fans.
Nothing can withstand
a few well-painted schnauzer bombs. Not even these two.
Everything you take away from the game will be noticed, counted, and
held against you no matter how well done the released content actually
is. You are altering a world that they know better than this one, and
to a dedicated fan, there is no greater blasphemy. They don’t
see deadlines or due dates. They care nothing for bugs or programming
delays. They only see their obsession being altered. And like the
animals that we are, we fear change.
But does whittling away at the content in order to ensure a successful
launch and enjoyable game play work? Can you really remove in order to
give back while remaining true to the initial concept?
We’ll find out soon enough.
Those who are waiting will still play – but if you change or
shrink their world too much, it won’t FEEL like their world
and they’ll soon leave it in droves to go back to the
original core game deep within the recesses of their cave-like mall
…which they will then use as a base of operations to build
schnauzer bombs in order to take revenge on the game that destroyed
Well painted schnauzer bombs.
Disclaimer: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints
expressed are those of
the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and
viewpoints of the Ten Ton Hammer network or staff.